People have been requesting Instagram for years to bring a tablet-optimized UI design for its app. However, the company always said that releasing an app for tablets (especially iPads) wasn't on its priority list. Surprisingly, the company seems to have released a tablet-optimized UI design for its Android app, and it is currently available on the Galaxy Z Fold 5.
Instagram now has an app for foldable phones and tablets
The Galaxy Z Fold 5 is probably the first device to get Instagram's new design that is more optimized to be used on bigger screens. The navigation rail now appears on the left side of the screen rather than at the bottom. This navigation rail consists of tabs for Home, Search, New Post, Reels, Profile, Notifications, and Messages. The Stories feed is still at the top of the screen, though. The feed now shows much bigger images and videos.
In the Reels section, short videos appear with black bars on either side, while Likes, Comments, and Shares are displayed on the right side of the video. This new update has been rolling out over the past few days, and it is currently seen only on the Galaxy Z Fold 5. However, we expect it to be available on older Galaxy Z Fold series phones in a phased manner.
It is interesting to see that Meta (which owns Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp) has been bringing apps for Android tablets and WearOS smartwatches while leaving out Apple's tablets and smartwatches. A few days ago, it launched WhatsApp for WearOS, and no such app exists for the Apple Watch.
Since the release of Android 12L, Google has been pushing developers to bring foldable and tablet-optimized UI designs for their apps. Google itself promised to bring more than 50 apps that are optimized for bigger screens, and many of those updates are already live. Most of Samsung's first-party apps also offer a multi-pane design, making them suitable for foldable phones and tablets.